It’s a long way off, but everyone’s favourite green ogre will make his West End debut next summer.
Shrek The Musical opens at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in June 2011, and is a stage version of the familiar film, with an original score by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire. You could pair this show with a matinee of Wicked, and have a green-themed day in the West End!
Goldberg, who plays Deloris can Cartier in the original film, will replace Sheila Hancock as Mother Superior from 10 to 31 August. Despite laughing off the idea of being in the show when it first opened (“I can’t do eight shows a week of anything!”) Whoopi does have a good pedigree of Broadway work, starring in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Xanadu.
And I’ve got news of another big star returning to the West End later in the year.
Maureen Lipman will star in J B Priestley’s When We Are Married at the Garrick Theatre from 19 October. A consummate comedienne, Lipman last appeared in London in Trevor Nunn’s production of A Little Night Music, which earned her a Laurence Olivier Award nomination. Her other stage credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie, Wonderful Town!, Maureen Lipman Live And Kidding and See How They Run. Priestley’s play, When We Are Married sounds like a great vehicle for Lipman’s talent: a comedy about class hypocricy set in West Yorkshire at the turn of the century. I can’t wait.
You’ll probably be aware of the Les Mis 25th anniversary extravaganza due to take over The O2 in October. Well, there’s been a few more cast members announced. Ramin Karimloo (currently playing The Phantom in Love Never Dies) will play Enjolras, and Samantha Barks, who’s playing Eponine at the Queen’s Theatre at the moment will play the same part in the special anniversary concert.
Les Mis isn’t the only thing with a significant birthday this year. This morning I headed to the not-so-Young Vic to hear about plans for their 40th birthday, and to enjoy some birthday cupcakes!
David Lan, the artistic director talked us through the eclectic season of opera, musicals, drama, and children’s shows with his usual enthusiasm. The birthday season is an international affair, with Icelandic company Vesturport bringing Faust and other European associates and productions in the list.
Potential highlights for me included musical The Human Comedy (by Galt MacDermot, the composer behind Hair); Simon Stephens’s version of Jon Fosse’s I Am The Wind, directed by Patrice Chéreau (hard not to be impressed when David Lan tells you this director changed his life, and has always been working to create a theatre where that guy might one day want to come and work – wow); and children’s theatre company Fevered Sleep’s On Ageing, performed by children but aimed at adults.
Over at SOLT, here’s a more detailed list of all the 40th birthday excitement for the Young Vic this year. And there’s loads of tickets for £10 too! You’ve got no excuse not to go…